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Sao Bento Monastery (Mosteiro de Sao Bento) Tours

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Sao Bento Monastery (Mosteiro de Sao Bento)
Unassuming from the outside, the simple facade of downtown Rio de Janeiro’s Sao Bento Monastery (Mosteiro de Sao Bento) belies its richly decorated and gold leaf-gilded baroque interiors. Built in 1671, it is one of Brazil’s most important monuments of colonial art. Among its treasures are a filigreed altar and rococo wooden carvings.
 
The Basics
Visitors are welcome to explore the interiors during opening hours. Full- and half-day general sightseeing tours of Rio de Janeiro, on foot and by vehicle, often include a visit to Sao Bento Monastery. For a more in-depth experience, however, you could join a specialized tour that arrives in time for Sunday morning Mass. Art and architecture-focused city tours often include a visit here as well as other notable churches.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Sao Bento Monastery is a must-visit for architecture and art lovers.
  • The monastery is free to enter.
  • Visitors should dress conservatively, with shoulders and knees covered.
  • The hilltop monastery offers excellent city views.
 
How to Get There
Sao Bento Monastery is perched on Morro de Sao Bento (Sao Bento Hill). To get there from Rua Dom Gerardo, go to No. 40 and take the elevator to the fourth floor. It is a 5-minute walk from the Parada dos Museus VLT Carioca light rail stop.
 
When to Get There
Sao Bento Monastery is open daily from 6:30am to 6:30pm. High Mass on Sunday begins at 10am and is celebrated with organ music and Gregorian chanting. Mass (7:30am weekdays and 8am Saturday) tends to be crowded, so it is advisable to arrive early or book a tour that guarantees entrance to Sunday Mass.
 
The Building of Sao Bento
Founded by a group of Benedictine monks, the monastery and church complex were constructed by slaves. Several of the sculptors and painters who worked on the intricate details of the church interior were monks as well. Construction of the church and monastery were finished at the end of the 17th century, but the monks continued to touch up the interior, most notably adding enormous silver chandeliers weighing over 200 pounds (91 kilograms) each. 
Address: Brazil
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35 Tours and Activities to Experience Sao Bento Monastery (Mosteiro de Sao Bento)

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Special Tour in Rio: São Bento Monastery, Santa Teresa and Ipanema's Hippie FairHalf-day Tours

Special Tour in Rio: São Bento Monastery, Santa Teresa and Ipanema's Hippie Fair

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Stray from the beaten path and visit some of Rio de Janeiro’s alternative tourists attractions on a 4-hour tour of the São Bento Monastery and the Santa Teresa neighborhood. Ideal for travellers who have ticked off Rio’s main sites already, the tour’s itinerary includes the São Bento Monastery, a gorgeous example of 16th-century Roman Catholic architecture, and the bohemian district of Santa Teresa, replete with haphazard houses and decorated stairways. Visit, too, the Feira Hippie de Ipanema, a market brimming with fabrics, handbags, souvenirs, and Brazilian street food.  
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$77.90 
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From  
$77.90 
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  • Taking safety measures

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From  
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From  
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From  
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  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Private Hidden Gems Tour in Rio: best views of the city including Santa Teresa!Day Trips

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Experience Rio de Janeiro on a private, full-day tour with a licensed guide. Choose to explore with a driver-guide or a separate driver and guide for more personal attention and local insights. Customize your own itinerary, see the sights that interest you most, and uncover local secrets and see little-known gems with your guide like the Chinese View and Santa Teresa.
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  • 8 to 9 hours
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From  
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$20.55 savings
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  • 8 to 9 hours
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  • 5 hours
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  • 4 to 6 hours
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  • Taking safety measures

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Get a comprehensive whirlwind tour of Rio's downtown in just a few hours. With your guide, learn about the city's culture and history through visits to landmarks such as the The São Bento Monastery, the Sambadromo, Maracanã Stadium, and others. Round-trip transportation from Zona Sul hotels included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
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From  
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  • 8 hours
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  • Taking safety measures
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  • 8 hours
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Private Tour - Historic Rio Walk - For 1-6 PAX - Downtown on footHiking

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  • Free Cancellation
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From  
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Rio Photo Tours - Full Day Customised Private Tour (8 hours)Day Trips

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From  
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  • Free Cancellation
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From  
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  • 8 hours
  • Taking safety measures
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$253.38 
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From  
$253.38 
per group
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Carioca dayBus Tours

Carioca day

This is your personalized tour. A true a la carte excursion. An excursion tailored to the client's wishes for which I will tailor the itinerary accordingly. Ideal for seasoned travelers who want to customize their tour. Tour price valid for 6 hours and for 1 up to 4 passengers. Above this number upon request. Includes: - Local Guide - Transportation by air-conditioned premium car - Tolls and parking fees - Fuel Surcharge All our private tours will take you to the most emblematic places of Rio de Janeiro: from the historic center and its cultural monuments to the rainforests and the most beautiful beaches in Brazil. You will be accompanied by me as an Embratur certified professional guide who speaks English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. During the trip, I will share with you curiosities, local myths and essential information to discover each place in the wonderful city.
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$590.28 
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From  
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  • 5 to 6 hours

Historic River Walking TourHiking

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Rio de Janeiro's history and architecture mix on this tour, with a detailed description of the places that will make you fall in love with another facet of this city. All this with the ease of transportation in an air-conditioned SUV and accompanied by your driver-driver in places where walking is required.
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From  
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Get to know Rio through its architectureArchitecture Tours

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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$14.47 
From  
$14.47 
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  • Free Cancellation

Tour 3 ( 8 hours ) : Sugar Loaf , Lapa , Imperial Palace and Olympic BoulevardFull-day Tours

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I am born and raised in Rio and love my city . My background as a visual artist makes my tours more interesting
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From  
$259.46 
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Full and Private River Tour / The Whole Rio Private TourFull-day Tours

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The most complete private tour of TripAdvisor and Viator! Come experience what Rio has for unforgettable in this personalized and customizable tour of 9 hours! Come and visit the most impressive sights of Rio, and its unique monuments, such as: Cristo Redentor, Monastery of São Bento, Sugar Loaf and its most famous attractions. This personalized VIP tour with guide driver offers the best of Rio and can be adapted to the desire and will of the passenger. The only excursion that includes boarding at any hotel in Rio, ports and free transfer from the national or international airport at the beginning and / or end of the tour. Depending on the length of time spent visiting a particular attraction, waiting times in queues for access, the tour may have the script adjusted. The duration of the excursion is 8 hours + 1 hour of lunch or rest.
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  • 9 hours
From  
$387.03 
per group
From  
$387.03 
per group
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  • 9 hours

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Sao Bento Monastery (Mosteiro de Sao Bento)?